NZ stocks rise for a third day, Air NZ gains

Published: Fri 19 Dec 2008 09:39 AM
MARKET CLOSE: NZ stocks rise for a third day, Air NZ gains
Dec. 18 – New Zealand stocks rose, nudging the NZX 50 Index higher for a third day, after the trade organization for airlines dismissed regulator allegations about cartel activity involving Air New Zealand.
The NZX 50 rose 11.661, or 0.4%, to 2707.591 at the 5 p.m. close of trading in Wellington. Within the index, 21 stocks fell, 19 rose and 10 were unchanged or untraded.
Air New Zealand jumped 5.8% to 91 cents after the carrier said it will vigorously defend charges filed by the Commerce Commission that it was one of 13 airlines involved in cartel activity involving air cargo and fuel surcharges. The International Air Transport Association said allegations of misconduct under its umbrella were “inaccurate and without merit.”
NZ Farming Systems Uruguay slumped 20% to 60 cents and 11% owner and manager PGG Wrightson tumbled 15% to NZ$1.30.
The developer of dairy farms in South America today said it may post a full-year loss of as much as US$11 million because of a sharp decline in international prices for milk. Wrightson yesterday said it would write down the value of its holding in NZ Farming Systems.
“There been some concern for a little while that South America isn’t the golden goose once thought, especially when you see what’s been happening to Fonterra’s milk prices,” said Alan Moore, who helps manager NZ$250 million at Milford Asset Management.
Michael Hill International led a decline by some retailers after a bank survey showed retailers’ confidence sunk to a record low this month, typically the start of their peak sales season. The jeweller dropped 6.5% to 58 cents. Hallenstein Glasson fell 0.4% to NZ$2.27 after the clothing chain told shareholders that sales in the period from August 2 to Dec. 14 are 4% down on a year earlier and profit margins have contracted.
Stocked edged higher across Asia amid speculation the region’s central banks may be spurred into action in cutting interest rates after the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented reduction. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.6% to 8665.1 in early afternoon trading. In Sydney, the S/ASX 200 Index at 3570.8. Qantas Airways rose 7.5% to A$2.43 as prices for jet fuel declined.
New Zealand Oil and Gas, which has been building a strategic stake in Pan Pacific Petroleum to gain more exposure to the Tui oil field, rose 1 cent to NZ$1.33. Pan Pacific was unchanged at 35 cents.

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